Will the Rhino become extinct?

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Offline Don_1

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Will the Rhino become extinct?
« on: 03/06/2015 13:32:25 »
If you found a hair in your soup you would not be best pleased. You would be even more displeased to learn that the hair came not from the chef, but from some animal.

How much more distressed would you be to find animal hair in your cough syrup or some other medicine?

Yet Rhino horn, which is composed of keratin (hair, finger nail, hooves), is sold daily through the Chinese medicine trade. In 2010 Chinese 'medicine' was worth a staggering 36.8 billion worldwide. (Source - Helmut Kaiser Consultancy).

According to traditional Chinese medicine, which is linked to Buddhism, no animal should come to harm. But for more than 3000 years Chinese medicine has used animal ingredients, mostly to no avail. But the problem does not lie just with China, other Asian cultures also use Rhino horn. Vietnam has become a major cause for concern in recent years.

Let's just bust one myth. Rhino horn is not used as an aphrodisiac, but it is used in many other circumstances, such as, as an antipyretic, as an antivenom for insect and snake-bite, as a 'cleanser of the liver and stomach', as a cure for the common cold, typhoid, jaundice, rashes, the vomiting and excretion of blood, delirium and abscesses, and for soothing the nerves and improving the eyesight. Rhino horn is also seen as a mark of wealth and social standing.

Lets be clear, there is no evidence that Rhino horn has any curative effect on any of these. You would be far better off taking a simple aspirin.

Rhino horn can fetch a staggering $100,000 per kilo, so it is not hard to see that the trade is not going to go away.

As a consequence of the trade in Rhino horn, the three species of Asian Rhino are listed as vulnerable and critically endangered. The Javan Rhino is estimated to number just 50 individuals. The Sumatran 200 individuals, with perhaps less than 25 in Borneo. Only the Greater One Horned Rhino exists in reasonable numbers. Around 600 individuals were thought to exist in 1975. Thanks to conservation and protection efforts, there are now more than 2900.

The scarcity of the Javan and Sumatran and the protection of the Greater One Horned has put ever more pressure on the African Rhino. In 2014 more than 1200 Rhino were killed by poachers in South Africa. All they take is the horn. So far this year more than 400 Rhino have been killed. (Source - The Guardian).

The Southern White Rhino numbers more than 20,000 individuals, but there are no Northern White Rhino left in the wild and only a few in captivity. The Western Black Rhino was declared extinct in 2011 and there are less than 5,000 individuals over the other three species of Black Rhino.

Population source - WWF

South Africa has seen a dramatic increase in Rhino poaching despite the appointment of a former general to oversee anti-poaching measures. What is desperately needed is more feet on the ground to deter and capture the poachers. <<<<CLICK
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